a tomás o’grady non-profit
Since 2011, EnrichLA builds and takes care of edible school gardens throughout Los Angeles.
After co-founder and Executive Director Tomas O’Grady recognized a need to connect students with the source of their food, EnrichLA was founded in August 2011 as a 501(c)(3) designated non-profit. By installing and managing a school garden at Thomas Starr King Middle School, Tomas discovered how its presence benefited the lives of students, staff and the surrounding community. King Middle School is now one of 68 schools that demonstrate how school gardens can transform a community through increased student involvement and improved aesthetics, improving morale and promoting healthy living. The immeasurable benefits at this school led Tomas to the motto: A Garden in Every School. Ultimately, we think that every child in every school in this city ought to experience the joy of growing, harvesting, preparing and eating simple whole foods.
We are in a hurry.
School gardens improve air quality, increase exposure to the natural world, encourage environmental stewardship, and positively impact health and eating habits of students and the surrounding community. These gardens act as catalysts to show students just how versatile, delicious, and FUN healthy food can be, developing positive attitudes toward healthy, fresh food and increasing consumption of these foods. The startling obesity statistics in Metro Los Angeles alone demonstrate a strong need for access to simple whole foods through gardening.
We create and we maintain.
We do not build and run. Our Garden Rangers maintain the garden space weekly and provide place-based learning opportunities for students, offering lesson plans with topics such as nutrition, healthy living, gardening, and environmental stewardship. These garden classes help students establish an immediate connection between the process of growing fruits and vegetables and consuming these foods in our outdoor kitchens. With these gardens, the classroom is given local focus, tangible results, and involvement in inquiry-based education.
For many students, our school gardens are their only access to green, outdoor spaces in their neighborhood. By improving the environmental quality of their surroundings, children are more likely to succeed. We have seen first-hand how access to edible gardens can bring joy and community involvement.
A working edible garden in every Los Angeles School.
Down to earth, no nonsense and hard working. We are irreverent and ambitious.
Food justice and food insecure
are words you will rarely hear from us. We know the issues. We focus on solutions. No further study needed. We know how we can help.
Step 1. Get gardens into schools.
Step 2. Attract kids into these gardens.
We are all about action.
are the kids. We strive to deliver a great product; a lush vegetable garden.
are people who volunteer, intern and give. People who care. We have minimal staff. Our garden rangers fan out to 68 schools weekly. We respect our people by treating their time as precious. If you volunteer, we want you to be exhausted. We feel that if you are going to give up your day to help us and others then the least that we can do is make it worth your while.